The Treasure of the Sierra Nevada

The Alhambra is a beautiful treasure nestled between the Sierra Nevada range and the city of Granada (Andalusia, Spain). The UNESCO World Heritage Committee agreed and added the site to it’s list in 1984. However, this amazing treasure was almost lost forever after the site had been abandoned in the 1700s– then Washington Irving visited the site in 1828 and published his book Tales of the Alhambra four years later. After reading his book many Westerners flocked to the site. Ironically Irving felt his writing failed to capture its true worth. (“How unworthy is my scribbling of the place.”) The imaginations of many other artists were shaped by the site as well. MC Escher visited in 1922 and the tessellations in the Muslim tiles inspired many of his woodcuts and lithographs.

The Alhambra also encouraged us to waken the inner artist. (Annoyingly enough, other “wakened” artists kept getting in the way!) Like Irving however, we do not feel we have captured it’s true essence either.

The Alhambra, along with the Alcazaba mountain behind it, is one of the most photographed sites in Spain.

We love how the "Torre de Comares" is reflected in the blue pool along with the palace. Water was important to the Muslims and there are several fountains in this complex so an elaborate canal system had to be built to ensure water was plentiful.

Normally you would see more of the fountain (it has 12 lions) but it was under construction when we were here. Workers were restoring some of the lions (hence the odd shot). We were glad it was being restored, but it was disappointing too because we couldn't really enjoy our favorite patio.

This beautiful patio is found in The Generalife. This part of the site actually contains several patios and gardens, each one with it's own unique look and feel.

This is an unusual shot of the Spanish palace. It was shot this way to highlight the beautiful blue sky (and cut out the other visitors who kept wandering in front of the lens). Durr.

Everyone who visits the Alhambra wants to take artsy pictures from the windows!

From this Alhambra viewpoint you can see for miles. Below "the red fortress" lies the city of Granada.

Although many people come to Granada to see “the red fortress” we recommend that you wander the city. It’s beautiful in it’s own right. You never know what treasures you might find …

The street that follows the Darro River is very picturesque. It is found at the base of the Alhambra site.

No matter what ails you, there's a remedy here! Of course if you prefer a good cup of tea or something to flavour your favorite dishes, this is also the place for you.

Granada is also known for its modern art. We love to stroll the city looking for "new" graffiti.

After the Alhambra this is the most visited site in Granada. The beautiful white interior and extremely high ceiling make it visually stunning. (P.S. You aren't supposed to take pictures of the interior so don't tell on us!).

This neighborhood is found on the hill opposite the Alhambra. We climbed the hill to get to the viewpoint at Mirador de San Nicholas. This climb is a great way to see traditional Spanish houses; eventually you will also have a fabulous view of the Alhambra, the Sierra Nevada range, and the city of Granada. Wade says "by climbing insanely steep hills like these, you will achieve buns of steel." I say "what good are buns of steel if everything else still jiggles."

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